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Have you ever had an ambition or a dream, where you felt determined early on, but became distracted and lost interest soon after? On the other hand, have you ever experienced a burning desire for something and no matter how difficult, you felt a strong, long-lasting drive to get there, despite whatever setbacks may be on your path? Chances are you’ve probably experienced both of these situations and the difference can be attributed to one thing: motivation versus inspiration.

Although they’re very similar and often work hand in hand, being motivated or inspired can produce vastly different results. Motivation is best described as an external push, a kickstart, an “oomph” or a surge of energy. Meanwhile, inspiration is more of an internal pull, a feeling of being drawn to something, a feeling of being “on purpose”, a sense of knowing, destiny or something bigger than you and comes with unwavering direction and aligned action.

Think of the word “inspire” to mean “in spirit” – a feeling of inner connection to your heart and soul. Although being motivated is definitely useful and something well worth embracing, shifting your motivation to inspiration will leave you feeling energised and on your path. Here are tips to help you tap into this inner goodness, sparking the power of being “in spirit” and living an inspired life.

Mother nature

In our modern, high-tech lives, it’s easy for us to allow precious time to tick by while we sit at a computer or scroll through our phones, contained within four walls and artificial light. It’s no surprise that mental exhaustion, burnout and feeling depleted is becoming the norm for many of us. It’s so important when we feel like this that we take time to be outside among nature. Surround yourself with things that are alive, ponder the stars, feel the salty ocean air and soak in the many marvels of our planet. Being outside, even for a few short minutes, is guaranteed to fill your cup, energise your body, produce fresh ideas and provide you with inner peace, clarity and inspiration.

Get creative

Whether “creativity” is one of your top skills, the truth is we’re all creative beings continually creating experiences as we go through life. Developing your creativity is fun and it can shift you out of your head and into your heart. Mindful colouring, painting, dancing, singing, writing, visualisations, inventing and doodling are all ways that can help us feel reconnected to that inner spirit, bringing a sense of play and imagination to our lives, leaving us in a state of expansiveness and inspiration.

No matter what your dreams may be, one thing’s for sure: spending our days feeling fuelled with inspiration and an open heart is a wonderful way to live. Choose one thing to do today to awaken your inspiration, enjoy that radiant feeling of purpose and meaning, and watch the beautiful ripple effect that happens as you in turn inspire those around you.

Inspiring friends

American actress Amy Poehler says: “Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you, spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.” To ignite your own inspiration, surround yourself with those who leave you energised, who challenge and support you, who reflect the type of person you want to be and who “breathe life” into you.

Relationships are constantly evolving, so check in with how you feel after spending time with friends. If needed, start joining new social circles where you’re left invigorated, with new ideas and a new lease of life.

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